We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly[a] mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3
“What exactly do you love about me?” my wife sometimes asks me. She doesn’t just want an abstract lovey -dovey comment, she wants all the little nitty gritty details! Think of thankfulness as a thousand piece puzzle. It takes more than knowing what the big picture looks like to get that thing together. Finishing the puzzle means fitting each and every tiny part exactly into the position for which it was designed! Paul got very detailed about the thanks he was giving for his friends at the Thessalonian church. In fact Paul went into extra innings in his prayer time to remind God with a specific list of their work, their faith and their labor of love.
We might tell our pastor, “Hey great sermon today!” but can we take the time to say, “That part about unshakable confidence being like the mountains really made me think.” If we are to start building a design of thankfulness, let’s make it our goal this week to just fit in at least one tiny puzzle piece. If we were blessed by the worship, we could say something like, “When you got to that part about God breaking chains, my heart just felt a breakthrough tonight!”
Saying thank you, may feel awkward and maybe a little strange but God himself can be very specific when he expresses His love for us. He counts our every hair, he bottles every tear and hears every cry. He touched a leper and put clothing on a naked demon possessed man. Jesus had compassion on the hungry, then took the time to count every one in the crowd before he multiplied their bread. He has left us a perfect example that is not only our duty but it is our joy to follow. When we give thanks for what someone has done for us we never know what it will do. Giving thanks is a bit like washing dirty tired feet. Thankfulness means taking the position of servant before our brothers and sisters, so we can walk together into everything that God has designed for us!